My Year with an All-Electric MINI

Driving to work today…

Posted in Uncategorized by Timothy Gill on June 25, 2009

6:10 am:

OK, the forecast is reasonable, the charge is 100%, and enough people are getting 93-108 miles to give me confidence that I can make it to work and back today, 89 miles.  We’ll see!

8:00 am:

Got to work and had 55% left on the battery meter.  Having driven 44.2 miles, that’s 1%/mile, which is similar to what others are reporting.  My commute of 44 miles is about 39 miles on highway (the Garden State Parkway).  I decided to mentally monitor a value for driving range (maybe I should call it likely range?) as I drove: the sum of the display’s cruising range readout + miles driven so far).  When I left my house, the figure was (95+0); it went as low as 86 at one point on the Parkway.  I assume that this was because the car is known to get more mileage in city driving than highway, and the cruising range is based on the last 18 miles.  Anyway, with 55% percent, I decided not to charge it at the storage facility just off the federal complex where I am consulting, figuring the charge would also go up a few % during the day.

6:30 pm:

OK, the battery charge indicator said 58% as I got in the car to go home.  That seemed like reassurance and I felt confident.  But as I was approaching mile 35 of my 44 mile return, still on the highway, and my battery read 9% and my likely range figure had dropped as low as 83 miles, I was feeling a little nervous.  But within a mile of leaving the highway, my battery meter had gone to 12% and I had only 4 miles to go, so I knew I would make it.  When I got home, it read 10% with a cruising range of 5 miles. So, my commute is going to work, probably.  I did drive at 65 mph, which is hard to do (this is a Mini Cooper, no?) on the GSP (most people do about 75-80), and so next time I will try that higher speed (80 mph does risk getting pulled over the the baby-faced NJ state troopers).

I had a few other observations as I drove the car for a distance for the first time, but I will post these later.


One Response to 'Driving to work today…'

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  1. Robert said,

    Looking forward to reading your report on the drive, Good Luck.

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